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Photo by Celia Mitchell (2015/16 Semester Photo Contest Entry), Indonesia Semester.

Additional Packing Tips and Recommendations

Hey Teman-teman (friends)!

At this point I’ve spoken to most of you on the phone, but I wanted to reiterate a few points and post them up here for easy access and reference.

My biggest packing tip for you is PACK LIGHT! You will have to be able to carry all of your belongings; sometimes our journeys will be long and they will most definitely be hot and sweaty. It can be tempting to fill all the extra space you have in your bag, but really think about what things you need that you won’t be able to find in Indonesia, rather than the things you think would just be good to bring or have extra supplies of. Also, you will have the opportunity to hand wash your laundry each week so 1-2 weeks of clothing is sufficient to get you through our first month together. Then when we get to Yogyakarta, you will have opportunities to go to the markets and stores.

It’s also a good idea to pack light because our baggage weight allowances will change during our journey. Our international flight from the US to Indonesia allows two checked bags at 23 kg each, however we will be taking a second flight from Jakarta to Yogyakarta that only allows 1 checked bag of 20 kg. Both flights allow a 7 kg checked bag and a personal item. My advice is to MAXIMUM bring a hiking backpack as your checked piece and then if necessary, a small carry-on (like a small roll-on or hand bag) and a personal item (this can be a small backpack).

There are also a few items I’d like to mention that have changed their designation as “Mandatory” or “Recommended”.

  • Mosquito Nets: We have purchased a net for each student and will provide them to you when we meet at Princeton. These nets will be on loan to you for the entirety of the program. If you already bought a net, you can either return it or elect to still bring it with you.
  • Sleeping Pad: I am highly recommending this item. Past semester participants found sleeping pads useful when they went on jungle treks or had program house sleepovers. We don’t have any overnight camping trips planned yet, but we CAN plan them and this item will be good to have. Inflatable sleeping pads are not available in Indonesia; however there are foam “yoga mats”.
  • Photo Album: It’s great to share photos of yourself, your family, your friends, and your home with your new friends and family in Indonesia. You can simultaneously practice your Indonesian and allow people to get to know you more. If you don’t want to bring an album with you, it is very inexpensive and easy to print photos in Yogya so you can also assemble one while in-country.
  • Don’t forget your snorkel and mask! These are items you will regret not having.

As always, please let me know if you have any questions!

I’d like to leave you with my best packing tips for all explorers: Bring your curiosity, courage, and patience. A small smile goes a long way, but a big grin is worth the space it might take up in your backpack. You don’t need a lock for your heart. Leave your assumptions behind.

Keep your eyes peeled for another Yak post coming up with our itinerary for our first 6 weeks!